Saturday, June 5, 2010

Biloxi Shrimp Prices and Perils

Biloxi Shrimp: prices and perils
Small Craft Harbor Biloxi (Behind Hard Rock – parking for docks on first floor of garage)
Biloxi, Mississippi (About 75 miles from New Orleans)

By Jane Feehan

The boat docks were crowded this morning with residents and tourists buying Biloxi shrimp. The season opened 10 days early on Thursday to accommodate the uncertainty of the effects of the BP oil spill on the Mississippi Sound. 

Shrimp – small because of the early harvest – are selling for $2 a pound for small, $6 for large. The prices for large shrimp are considerably higher than they were at the close of last year’s season.

“They were selling for $3.85 then,” said shrimper Tony Nguyen. “This season is not great.”

Nguyen’s parents have been shrimping for 35 years in Biloxi; he has nearly 25 years in the industry.

“If the oil comes here, there will be no fishing, no shrimping for years,” Nguyen said.  “We’ll have nothing. Same as what happened in Alaska after that [Exxon] spill.”

After my chat with Nguyen, I visited Desportes off Porter Avenue. Their shrimp prices were about the same as the docks but supply was definitely down and they were pushing five-pound packs of frozen shrimp. The fish catch, while it looked excellent, was not plentiful, though that could be because there were plenty of customers.

Shrimp season is open - and questionable for how long. Testing of the water and the shrimp for oil contamination continues ...

Read prior post, Biloxi Shrimping: A one-two punch and still standing. 2010 Jane Feehan All rights reserved.

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